Prague Med. Rep. 2023, 124, 77-93

Prognostic Significance of the Coagulation and Complement Systems in Critical COVID-19 Infection

Amitabha Ray1, Kristen A. K. Winter1, Dayalu S. L. Naik2, Chuku Okorie3

1College of Medical Science, Alderson Broaddus University, Philippi, United States
2National Institute of Traditional Medicine (ICMR), Belagavi, India
3Union County College, Plainfield, United States

Received November 5, 2022
Accepted April 18, 2023

Infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19 disease) can cause a wide range of clinical situations – from an asymptomatic state to fatal outcomes. In cases of serious clinical manifestations, the underlying mechanisms involve a number of immune cells and stromal cells as well as their products such as pro-inflammatory interleukin-6 and tumour necrosis factor-alpha that ultimately cause the cytokine storm. The situation of overproduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines is somewhat similar to, though in a mild form, health conditions in obesity and related metabolic disorders like type-2 diabetes, which are also considered important risk factors for severe illness in COVID-19. Interestingly, neutrophils perhaps play a significant role in this pathogenesis. On the other hand, it is thought that COVID-19-related critical illness is associated with pathological hyperactivity of the complement system and coagulopathy. Although the precise molecular interactions between the complement and coagulation systems are not clear, we observe an intimate cross-talk between these two systems in critically ill COVID-19 patients. It is believed that both of these biological systems are connected with the cytokine storm in severe COVID-19 disease and actively participate in this vicious cycle. In order to hinder the pathological progression of COVID-19, a number of anticoagulation agents and complement inhibitors have been used with varying success. Among these drugs, low molecular weight heparin enoxaparin, factor Xa inhibitor apixaban, and complement C5 inhibitor eculizumab have been commonly used in patients with COVID-19. Our overall experience might help us in the future to tackle any such conditions.


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